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What to expect


A Lisp is a speech impediment and often results in a client having difficulty in producing the sounds ‘s' and ‘z'. This results in the client substituting these sounds for a ‘th' sound. This can cause communication difficulties depending upon severity and also knock a person's confidence.

What is a lisp?

A Lisp develops through incorrect placement of the tongue during speech production most commonly with the sounds of ‘s' and ‘z'. A lisp can be categorised into the following:

Interdental lisp

An interdental lisp is when the tongue protrudes between the teeth during the sound production of ‘s' and ‘z'. This leads to a ‘th' sound instead.

Lateral lisp

A lateral lisp is when air is escaping along the sides of the tongue. This leads to speech sounding wet as the saliva can be heard as well as the sound of the speech sound.

What causes a lisp?

A cause of a lisp can be identified as either psychological or physiological. This is because there may be a medical reason for someone to have a lisp, or it may be more to do with stress or trauma. Although it can be categorised this way, there is no exact cause for a lisp and is more to do with habitual speech patterns when speech is developing.

What problems caused by a lisp can speech and language therapy help with?

The following areas of difficulty caused by a lisp can be improved through speech and language therapy:

By working on these areas, a client may develop coping strategies to overcome their lisp and improve the fluency of their speech. As a lisp is habitual, the more work a client can put in outside of speech and language therapy sessions, the more progress a client will make.

How does speech and language therapy help a lisp?

Speech and language therapy can improve a client's communication skills and help them to develop coping strategies and management of their lisp. This may result in a client becoming more confident and therefore more fluent in their production of speech. A client may also be able to change the way in which they produce a certain speech sound.

Speech and language therapy can be greatly beneficial to someone who has a lisp. Some of the benefits are listed below:

What would speech and language therapy treatment for a lisp involve?

Speech and language therapy may include one or more of the following methods:

Specific speech and language therapy treatment for a lisp would involve articulation therapy.

How do I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment for a lisp?

To arrange an initial assessment for someone with a lisp, please contact a member of our speech and language therapy team by emailing or calling 0330 0885 643.


A lisp is a habitual method of speech production and can differ in severity depending upon each individual. A lisp can be either inter dental or lateral and Speech and language therapy can help an individual cope with or change the way in which they produce certain speech sounds. For an appointment with one of our speech and language therapists, please call 0330 0885 643.

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Next steps

To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email


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All our speech and language therapists are registered with the RCSLT and the HCPC

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